Nurture One nesting cushion review – Independent baby sleeping anywhere

South African based nurtureOne developed their pillow in order to help parents provide a secure, peaceful, resting environment for their little one. Ahead of its launch in the UK, we were asked to give our thoughts on the product, having had one since Georgia’s early days here, 10 months ago.

Reviewers: Kieran, Bronwyn and Georgia.

The nurtureOne pillow is a brilliant quality product. It washes well and is made from very high quality fabric and can be folded / rolled up so no problems taking it away with us (which we did quite a bit).

Essentially it is a pillow, so there’s no confusion on how to get the best use out of it. We’ve had Georgia sleeping in her crib, in the bed, on the sofa and even in our laps – all the while feeling comfortable and confident she was safe and secure.

 

We started using the pillow when Georgia was about a week old and wouldn’t sleep – and if she did she had to sleep on us. I remembered the nurtureOne had been bought as a present by my step-mother so thought I’d give it a go – and amazingly she started sleeping on the pillow, not us!

From then, I would use the pillow in her crib, and if I had her sleeping in the bed with me. I felt confident she was safe and that this was one less thing I would have to worry about. It is also great for feeding – we would feed her whilst she lay on the pillow, meaning if she fell asleep on the bottle, transferring her to her crib would mean she wasn’t disturbed.

We travelled to France when she was just 3 weeks old, and I wasn’t going without this pillow. It rolled up quite compact and was a godsend on our holiday. She slept just as she would at home, and I am convinced this was because she felt content in her pillow. We travelled to South Africa 4 months later and it worked this time round too. It didn’t matter where we were, or which cot / bed she was sleeping in, it was just like being at home in her crib.

The biggest benefits we found was that she started sleeping a little more independently – this gave me a break, and a chance to get a few hours of sleep too. It makes travelling easier, washes well and dries very quickly – often I would run it through the machine in the morning, and it would be dry and ready come night time. The cost is £90, but if I had to do it again, I would pay that instantly. My husband has bought the pillow as a gift for 2 of his expectant friends, and would say it is the best gift he can give a new parent – the gift of sleep!

We stopped using it when she grew out of it at about 8 months, but by then she had a strong sleeping routine and so there didn’t seem to be any issue.

 

Pros:

  • Provides a comfortable cacoon like place for baby to sleep
  • Easy to transport so your baby doesn’t realise she’s sleeping in a different environment
  • Washes Well
  • Easy to transfer baby from cuddling to cot – this is supposed to be brilliant for breast feeding babies but I didn’t breast feed so wasn’t able to comment on this.

Cons:

  • Price, retailing at £90 for a pillow can be considered on the more expensive side.

 

Rating

Functionality / usability – 10

Aesthetics and design – 10

Value for money –  7

Quality – 9

Innovativeness – 7

 

The nurtureOne cushion retails at £90

Designed and developed in South Africa by Jenny Spiro and Esther Nieder-Heitmann, the nurtureOne pillow is said to be an ideal sensory environment for your baby, allowing for a smooth transition from feeding to crib, regulating body temperature and sustaining good sleeping patterns

You can have a look on their website here: nurtureOne

 

Sleepyhead review – Not just a bed but a multifunctional pod for babies and toddlers

Described as the ultimate pod for your little one, the Sleepyhead provides a safe space for your baby to sleep, rest, play and more. Designed in Sweden using breathable, washable and hypoallergenic materials, the Sleepyhead is lightweight and portable meaning easy travels whether its room to room, or on holiday.

It’s not just a bed, it can be used for tummy time and generally lounging around. Designed for home use and travel it is lightweight and portable – for using in baby’s crib, bed sharing, cot or even when toddler is moving to a bed for an extra snuggle…

We were lucky enough to be given a Sleepyhead to review – Thank you Sleepyhead!

Baby Leo has been in his pod for 3 months now so we asked Mum and Dad, Fay and Alex, how they (and Leo) have found the Sleepyhead.

Being brand new parents, with a product like this our number one concern was always going to be the safety of our baby. After reading numerous reviews online we couldn’t find a negative comment which immediately put us at ease. As soon as we got the real life version you could tell straight away just from feeling the Sleepyhead that it is a quality product. Having seen similar, cheaper products during our research, a big worry was the quality of the cloth used – but there were no concerns with the Sleepyhead’s breathable material.

It can take quite a while to get Leo off to sleep at the best of times and we weren’t sure if he would take to the sleepyhead at all – but to our surprise he settled straight away! Before, we would tend to hold him until he starts to drift off to sleep and then place him in his cot – quite often this wouldn’t go to plan and we’d have to repeat the whole process two even three times – but Leo settled at the first time of asking using the sleepyhead.

Although the design is very simple we were amazed how comfortable our baby looked. It was a snug fit for Leo with the raised outer edge of the sleepyhead essentially ‘holding’ him as he slept. He certainly looked secure and happy. We tucked a blanket underneath one edge of the sleepyhead and after placing Leo in we would simply wrap and tuck the blanket over the other side, the whole process takes seconds, no stress involved.

It’s a very lightweight product so no matter where in the house Leo is, it’s no hassle to take it to him. We also took it on a recent holiday with us and really liked how easy it was to transport – takes up little room, meaning we were reassured hat Leo would have a safe place to sleep on our trip.

The Sleepyhead is a well made, high quality product – simple in design and the stitching looks faultless. Its also a quick and easy process to remove the cover for washing. the foot of the Sleepyhead can be opened or closed depending on the size of your baby/toddler and what you are using it for.

Leo had the Sleepyhead deluxe and baby Georgia lucked out with the Sleepyhead Grande so she has a couple more years of use yet! Yay!!

The Sleepyhead retails between £120 and £200 and so isn’t doesn’t seem cheap but it gets amazing reviews. John Lewis stock it along with the Sleepyhead mobile toy arch (arch is exclusive to JL)

Pros:
• Versatility
• Lightweight
• Comfort
• Cover is machine washable
• Feels like a quality product, no sign of wear or tear at all after many uses.

Cons:
• Price could be lower

Rating
Functionality / usability – 10
Aesthetics and design – 8
Value for money – 8
Quality – 10
Innovativeness – 9

Designed and developed in Sweden by mother of 2 Lisa Furuland, who after searching for an alternative to the blanket, cot and baby loungers looked to come up with a more snug and versatile option to those already in the market. The Sleepyhead range consists of the Deluxe (0-8 months) and the Grand (9-36 months) both available either online or through a number of worldwide retailers http://www.sleepyheadofsweden.com

Summer Infant Pop N Jump – baby jumping fun even in the sun! (review and your chance to win one too!)

Summer Infant’s Pop N Jump is a lightweight baby jumper, designed for use around the home or on-thego. It comes fully assembled and pops up in seconds. It has 3-levels of height adjustment, interactive toys and a compact travel bag with shoulder strap.

We were sent one for jumping extraordinaire Georgia to try out – and this is how it fared

Reviewers: Kieran Hufford and Georgia (8 months)

We bought Georgia a bouncer last year and to say she loves it is an understatement – however the downside of it is it’s quite a large piece of kit and difficult to take anywhere beyond the living room, let alone further afield. I was intrigued by the Summer Infant Pop N Jump and interested to see how it compared as a portable product to the more rigid frame of Georgia’s current jumper.

Right from the beginning I was impressed with its design – good quality, looks durable and a sturdy structure. It’s a little smaller than the one we have already and this limits the amount of interactive toys attached – however it still does an excellent job of keeping the little one entertained.

Where the Pop N Jump excels is its compact design, and how easy it is to set up. It literally ‘Pops’ up and you are ready to go. It replaces overhanging toys with a detachable sun shade – this is a  great addition for outside in the garden, park, beach etc. The fact it can be put up or taken down in seconds has meant it has now replaced Georgia’s original jumper – allowing us to take back a little more of our living room space! It comes in a compact carry bag too, so I have no issue with it joining us on trips away.

The Pop N Jump doesn’t have as much spring to it as the bigger jumper, so it’s fair to say that when Georgia gets going she’s not as ‘all over the place’, maybe limiting her excitement a touch – however the trade-off is minimal, and the Pop N Jump still brings that smile out in abundance.

Overall, the Pop N Jump is a lovely product, made great by its design. If you have the space, don’t want to take it anywhere and willing to pay a little more then there may be better options available – however those are 3 pretty major factors to consider and so for me the Pop N Jump is far more suitable to our needs.  Even though it’s marketed as a travel product, I think it definitely holds its own as a product of its category – the jumper.

Pros:

  • Versatility
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy
  • Comfort
  • Jumping seat is machine washable
  • Size

Cons:

  • Toys are fairly basic – you can attach your own
  • Not quite as springy as our static version – but it has replaced it!

– Functionality / usability – 10

– Aesthetics and design – 9

– Value for money –  8

– Quality – 8

– Innovativeness – 8

The Pop n Jump retails at around £69.99

For your chance to win one just visit the Holiday Tots Competition page – competition opens on Tuesday 4th April and ends midnight Tuesday 18th April.

For more information and where to purchase the Summer Infant Pop n Jump visit their website.

 

The Pop n Jump is the invention of  William Lockett III who was looking for a  safe place to place his baby girl Summer while his hands were busy elsewhere.

The Summer Infant brand is dedicated to developing the safest and most innovative products that stand the test of time.  They work closely with professionals including paediatricians, child development experts, and lactation consultants to ensure that they their prodcuts are safe and beneficial to the development of your child.

The Pop N Jump is one of three baby products in the Summer Infant Pop range. They also have a handy Pop N Sit Booster Seat and the Pop N Play Play Pen.

 

SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe – the baby sun-shade and portable blackout blind – our review

Snoozeshade is a baby sun-shade or portable blackout blind, ideal for travel and when you are out and about. It has been designed to protect babies and toddlers (ideally from six months plus) from sun, wind and insects.

We were sent the Snoozeshade Plus Deluxe to review for baby Georgia who was six months old on her trip to South Africa with her parents. Here’s what mum Bronwyn thought of it…

I was pleasantly surprised with the Snoozeshade, it is made of a high-quality material. It is very well made and fits on most strollers/push chairs.

We went to South Africa in the height of their summer and so it was very sunny! We did a lot of walking and the SnoozeShade offered great protection for our little one from the sun. It fastens around the frame of your pushchair with poppers that are very good quality (didn’t pop open once). It also has a mesh ‘window’ which zips open so little ones can see out.

It is a must-have for summer holidays if you’re going to be outdoors. It completely covers the baby but can have the front portion opened if needed. It doubles as a mosquito net too. A bonus!

We used the SnoozeShade from day one of our holiday, it was perfect when we wanted to let Georgia have a nap in the garden. We put her in the pushchair and zipped up. It was lovely and cool and she was protected from the sun. It was very easy to attach and remove from the pushchair too. Our pushchair was a foldup style and we were still able to do this with the SnoozeShade attached.

I loved that I could keep it on my pushchair all the time, even if it wasn’t sunny (just zipped open the window). If Georgia fell asleep whilst in her pushchair, I could zip it up and it created a cool, shaded place for her to sleep.

The SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe is a little bit genius! I love it! Bring on the sun!

Pros –   Small and easy to pack (i kept mine on my pushchair)

Doubles as a muzzy net/cover

Mesh window is a great feature

Easy to attach/detach

Cons –  None!

– Functionality / usability – 10

– Aesthetics and design -10

– Value for money –  9 –

At GBP34.99 this is one of the more expensive shade covers on the market but it is well worth paying for. There are also cheaper versions in the SnoozeShade range starting from £19.99, same quality, just with less features.  I would pay full price for this product.

– Quality – 10

– Innovativeness – 10

SnoozeShade was created by mum Cara. It all began when Cara had her daughter- she was looking for a baby sun shade to help her sleep when out and about. The ones on the market at the time were either fiddly parasols (we know how annoying they can be), or were just a bit too bulky to carry around. Cara wanted something that was safer than a blanket, less fiddly than a parasol, kept insects out, was portable, and helped her daughter sleep through distractions and so Snoozeshade was born!

The SnoozeShade range has grown since then with shades for prams and pushchairs, infant car seats and for travel cots and cots. There are products for both stages of your baby’s life Stage 1 for babies 0-9 months and stage 2 for babies 9 months+

You can view the whole SnoozeShade range here:

 

Win a short family break in Brittany in one of these toddler friendly holiday cottages…

For your chance to win a holiday in Brittany for a family of four just visit our competition page on Holiday Tots.

There are seven stunning child-friendly holiday cottages to choose from all with a different character, situated in acres of farmland perfect for a toddler holiday in Brittany.

Located  only 10/15 minutes from the sea and several lovely sandy beaches they offer a fabulous base for a family holiday. Many have enclosed private gardens safe for toddlers with wonderful countryside views.

Just 3km away is the owners farm restaurant and the children will love the animals and pony rides.

From funky to romantic and everything in  between…

Travel info

Roscoff 1 hr 15
St Malo 1 hr 20
Brest 1 hr 30
Cherbourg 3 hrs 20

Enter Here.

Terms and conditions apply – see competition page. Competition closes midnight 23rd March 2017

Good Luck!!!

Cornwall’s Family-Friendly Beaches 2017 Part 1

Blue Flag beaches are awarded not only for water quality, the award criteria also is concerned with the beaches facilities such as disabled access, life guards on duty and toilets etc. It doesn’t mean that there are no other beaches worth visiting in Cornwall with the family,(far from it, there are lots of tiny coves and sandy escapes)  this is just the tip of the iceberg and we will be featuring some hidden gems in our next Family-Friendly Beaches in Cornwall series.

Here is a snapshot of a small collection of beaches that have been awarded Blue Flag status in Cornwall, and overview on what they can offer for families looking for little bit of seaside fun…

Polzeath Beach

Image: Jamsta @ Wikipedia under Creative commons licence

Polzeath is in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The beach here is sandy and safe, gently shelving into the sea. At high tide Polzeath beach is very small but at low tide it turns into a fantastic sandy haven for all the family, extending about half a mile in all directions. Not only does Polzeath beach boast fine golden sand but it is also fringed with rock pools and if you are lucky you could well spot the odd dolphin or puffin.

Polzeath itself is a small village located on the headland opposite Padstow. There are lots of shops lining the beach front here for family holiday-makers. Within the village itself you will find a number of restaurants, cafés and pubs.

Polzeath beach is very popular and can get busy during the summer months. It is great for rock pooling, sand castle building and is also a fun beach for learning to surf or body board. It is located in a nature reserve and so home to many interesting wildlife species.

Trevone Bay

Image: Evans1551 @ Wikipedia under Creative commons licence

Trevone Bay is a rural secluded un-spoilt beach located in north Cornwall close to Padstow. This beach has golden sand and little coves and is home to good marine wildlife. Dogs are welcome here except between Easter Sunday and 30th September when the seasonal ban comes into force. The sea is quite strong here making it popular with surfers. Trevone Bay is a popular little beach with families, it has rocky ledges either side of it, home to lots of rock pools. Apparently if it’s rock pools you are after though, you should visit the Rocky Beach (Newtrain Bay) next door as it has both fab rock pools and a big tidal pool too for splashing around in.

Porthtowan

Porthtowan is a large west-facing beach fringed with granite cliffs. The beach is sandy, perfect for sand castle building and children will also love exploreing the rockpools for life.

Being a Blue Flag beach means that the amenities here are good. There are also a range of cafes and shops within close proximity including the Blue Boar a fashionable beachside café bar. Blue Boar Facebook Page

Porthtowan (Cornish Porth Tewyn, meaning cove of sand dunes) lies on Cornwall’s Atlantic costa just over a mile west of St Agnes, it is a family-friendly beach and is popular with surfers too.

There is a thriving local community here visit the Porthtowan website need more inspiration? visit the Porthtowan online video

Carbis Bay

Carbis Bay is located just one mile east of St Ives. It is privately owned by the Carbis Bay hotel but open to the public. The hotel provides beach facilities including washrooms, and food and drink outlets.

This wonderful golden sandy beach in Cornwall is about a mile long and the water is generally quite calm, not great for surfers but perfect for families with toddlers! There is a host of wildlife here, with occasional sightings of dolphins and other sea animals like seals and spider crabs.

Dogs are welcome here (except between the first Sunday before Easter and 30th September when the seasonal ban is in place, however dog walks are allowed between 5 and 8 am).

Image by Lantographer under the creative commons license

Gyllynvase Beach (Falmouth)

One of the most popular beaches in Cornwall is Gyllyngvase Beach (AKA Gylly) with its  wide golden arc and beautiful blue sea it is easy to see why.

Gyllynvase Beach is a south-acing family resort beach with something for everyone, from water based activities to sand castle building. The award-winning, Gylly Beach Café is built over the beach with lovely views, and prides itself with using local produce wherever possible and offers a fresh contemporary menu (shellfish, fish, tapas, salads etc). There are lots of amenities here, along with a beach café selling ice cream and beach goodies next to Gylly Beach Café throughout the summer months. Gylly beach is located to the south of Falmouth town centre which is a 15 minute walk away. There are also Green Flag Award winning gardens making the area well recognised for its environmental quality.

Image: Tony Atkin under the creative commons license

Coming next: Hidden Family -Friendly Coves in Cornwall

We put the Mifold Grab-and-Go Car Booster Seat to the test…

On holiday we take our own car seat, it is a full, high-back side-impact car seat designed for kids ages 4 to 11. The advantage is that it is with us wherever we go, with peace of mind as we know it is comfortable and safe. There are however times when this just isn’t practical (we are often negotiating our luggage with car seat stacked on top!) and so when I heard about the Mifold Grab-and-Go Car Seat I was intrigued to try it out. We were lucky enough to be sent one to review for use with Freddie who is 7…

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The Mifold is described as the ‘Grab-and-Go Booster seat, and it certainly lives up to its name. Its designers say that the Mifold “is the first real innovation in child car booster seats in over 50 years” – we have tested a few in our time, like the BubbleBum Inflatable Booster Seat with positivity and there are others on the market that claim to be good for travel like the Trunki BoostApak. So how does the Mifold stand up to the test?

When I first received the Mifold I instantly questioned its safety as it is soooo small! On opening it felt well made and I liked the bag it came with too. I took it along to school pickup to see what other parents thought and they unanimously had the same safety concerns, especially with all the new regulations surrounding child seats. I was intrigued to find out more.

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The Mifold is thin, compact and robust, maybe calling it a ‘booster seat’ isn’t quite the right term to use. A ‘booster seat’ is generally designed to lift a child, whether it be at a table for dinner, at a cinema or in the car to be in the correct line for a seatbelt fitting. The Mifold is designed to do the opposite – instead of lifting a child up it lowers the seat belt down to the correct shoulder height.

mifold-booster

Normal booster

 

mifold-without-booster

Mifold

It is 10X smaller than a regular car booster seat too and is ideal for travel as it can be easily popped into a bag or backpack. It is well made and sturdy, designed for kids from 4-12 years old. Our first outing was to Kew Gardens with friends, there were three children ages 5 and two 7 year olds to fit into the back. We usually have trouble squashing the car seats in with them a little wonky and probably not the safest positions! The Mifold fitted nicely between the two seats and it was easy to fit. The Mifold is a great choice for three in a row…

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Freddie wasn’t too impressed initially with the seat for comfort to sit on (he is occasionally a bit of a diva!)  but he did say the actual seat belt fitting was really comfortable and sat nicely on his shoulder. On our next trip we popped a small cushion and this made him happy. Since then we have ditched the cushion idea as it defeats the object of having a true ‘Grab-and-Go’ style seat and our fussy little prince is used to it now!

I can see the Mifold being a brilliant choice for a spare quick seat, for school runs, family holidays, travelling, great size for grand-parents cars, adhoc pick ups and a brilliant space saver for three in a row. It is so small and compact it would be great for hopping around in a taxi too.

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Freddie is 7 now and most of his friends have moved on from the high back seat, I know we shouldn’t give in to peer pressure but the Mifold means he can feel more grown up and we can avoid some awkward moments. I still like the full back seats with side panels and for extra long journeys we still have it in our car. However the Mifold is now in my little run-around car and I feel safe in the knowledge that the seat belt is at the right height. I think we will be tempted to ditch our large cumbersome child seat on future holidays too. I am converting 🙂

Safety was my only concern but it has been designed to conform to EU regulations and beyond US regulations and I do really like the seat belt positioning. I like the way it is held in position close to the shoulder and around the lap and not across the tummy area.

You can see from the image that the seatbelt are held in place neatly

You can see from the image that the seatbelts are held in place neatly

 

 

The Mifold has been well designed with a choice of funky colours. The seat pad has been designed by car industry experts and it is robust with a strong metal chassis made from aircraft aluminium. So it looks like it is a product to last.

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All in all we think the Mifold is easy to use, fully adjustable and totally portable and gets a big thumbs up from us. It is a fab choice for a travel booster style car seat for children old enough and even fits in  a handbag. For more information, you can visit the Mifold website here:

http://www.mifold.com

http://www.mifold.com/faq/

The Mifold is available from many retailers in the UK including John Lewis and Amazon @ £49.95 and the carry bag is around £15. The bag is a good idea if you want to attach it to the outside of a rucksack etc.

The Mifold is great alternative to a car booster seat and we think every family with kids should have one!